If universities are pressured into awarding degrees to undeserving students who food the workplace, poor public service will follow

A letter from Davy Wight:

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

Ben Lowry’s recent piece diplomatically blames this on “excessive sentimentality towards pupils” (‘Exam grade inflation is rooted in sentimentality about education and school pupils,’ August 14, see link below). I agree. But it is neither new nor a result of Covid pandemic restrictions.

Back in the day dislike of overt favouritism was described in a rather less sympathetic terms. Teachers and their pets.

As long as fifty years ago and I suspect, well before, these classroom bosom buddies were detested by the rest of us. But happily back then the revenge of the unfavourites came with the crunch of exam time when solely what you wrote in the answers column decided how you did. Which for many of the ill prepared pets, used only to sweetheart internal marking, that was frequently not at all well.

Seriously though, this practice of handing out high grades like sweeties is no longer just based on favouritism but the widespread norm. It has wide implications. The knock on effect is that, for fear of parental and woke backlash, universities will be pressured even more into awarding degrees to those not deserving, only because they deploy a massive sense of entitlement and can shout very loudly.

There are already warning signs of increasingly poor performance in many areas of public service. health, education, civil service to name but a few. Keep up this practice of flooding the market with sub standard grace and favour students and it will get worse.

Davy Wight, Carrick

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